More than 500 members of the Arkansas National Guard will deploy to Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Ida, Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Tuesday.
In addition, 33 Arkansas State Troopers are awaiting federal approval to go to Louisiana to assist Louisiana State Police.
“When our neighbors in Louisiana asked for assistance after Hurricane Ida, our immediate response was ‘when, where, and how many,’” Hutchinson said. “This Category 4 hurricane has dealt a significant physical and emotional blow to the state. Our soldiers and troopers will be on the front lines to deliver hope as well as physical assistance as Louisianans face the challenges and uncertainties of the coming days.”
Members from the 142nd Field Artillery Brigade departed from the Fort Chaffee Joint Maneuver Training Center in Fort Smith Tuesday afternoon. Members of the 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team will deploy from various armories on Wednesday. Both units will report to Minden, Louisiana, to register with the Louisiana National Guard and to receive their assignments.
The deployment was requested as an Emergency Management Assistance Compact by the Louisiana National Guard, which asked for two multifunctional battalion headquarters and four multifunctional companies or batteries.
The members of the 39th are trained in route-clearance operations. Members of the 142nd will assist in high-water rescue and recovery operations, as well as unarmed security and traffic control.
After federal approval, the State Troopers will report to Baton Rouge to start their 14-day deployment. They will be sworn in as Louisiana officers and work with Louisiana State Police to prevent looting. They will assist with search and rescue as needed. An additional 33 troopers are on standby if Louisiana requests an extension of the two-week deployment.